brad pitt jason bourne

Brad Pitt passed on playing Jason Bourne

Russell Crowe and Tom Cruise were also considered for the role.

The Bourne film series positioned Matt Damon as one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars. The series generated over $1.6-billion at the box office and ushered in a new era of action films. What many do not know is that Damon was not director Doug Liman’s first choice to play the series’ protagonist. Several actors were approached to play Jason Bourne, including none other than Brad Pitt.

Brad Pitt was first approached to play Jason Bourne.

In 2000, Brad Pitt was enticed by the idea of playing Jason Bourne. The actor and the studio mutually liked the idea of a franchise spawning, if the first film garnered enough success.

Ultimately, Pitt’s packed schedule forced the actor to reject the role. He instead decided to star in Tony Scott’s Spy Game alongside Robert Redford. The film was a moderate success, both critically and financially, but far less memorable than The Bourne Identity.

Other actors considered for the role of Jason Bourne included Russell Crowe, Tom Cruise and Sylvester Stallone. “When I sat down with Matt and explained that I wanted to take on an action movie but do it in a different way,” explained Doug Liman in a 2002 interview with BBC, “I got the sense that he understood.”

Years later, Stallone would argue that his Rambo character was far superior to Bourne. “Rambo would eat Bourne for breakfast!” Sly told the press in 2008.

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